Starting The Ketogenic Diet: Day 1 on Keto

Meet Gregory, a writer and the brains behind Face Dragons. He's the go-to guy for getting things done. Gregory's been living the digital nomad life in Asia for as long as anyone can remember, helping clients smash their goals. He writes on topics like software, personal knowledge management (PKM), and personal development. When he's not writing, you'll catch him at the local MMA gym, nose buried in a book, or just chilling with the family.

It’s been over a year since I was on keto, and I can’t wait to get back into ketosis. Today is the day!

I’ve had a little history with the ketogenic diet. After reading Tim Ferris’ 4-hour workweek, I followed his prescriptions and the book’s slow-carb diet. It was essentially removing almost all carbs except for a few low GI carbs, such as beans and sweet potato. Fairly soon after, in 2018, I decided to go full keto.

What is Keto?

The ketogenic diet is a way of eating that put’s the body into ketosis. Ketosis is achieved by reducing carbohydrates to only 5% of calories consumed while increasing fat consumption to over 70% of your calories, swapping carbs as your primary energy source for fat.

The body responds by creating ketones from the fat and fuels the body with them instead of using glucose (blood sugar)

Back in 2018, I thought I’d try keto for a month and see how it felt. Online there was a lot of talk about the mental benefits of doing keto, such as increased focus and sharper cognitive skills. The mental benefits were why I wanted to try it out. 2 years later, as the pandemic hit, I was still doing keto and feeling great.

So Why Did I Stop the Ketogenic Diet?

When the pandemic hit here in Tianjin, China, so did my keto food supply. I was mainly eating steak, bacon, cheese, and avocados, none of which are common here, but when lockdowns started, anything imported disappeared from shelves overnight.

I stocked up on foods that don’t go bad such as rice, pasta, and noodles, and forgot about keto for a little while. However, now that things are starting to get back to normal, I’m looking forward to being on keto again!

How Did I Prepare to Start Keto?


Mindset is crucial whenever you make a drastic change in your life. I’ve known for about three days that I will be starting keto again today, so mentally, I know what’s coming.

Get rid of non-keto options

You must think like an addict when you’re starting keto because you are, in fact, a carb addict! So, just as an alcoholic would purge their cupboards of booze when they want to get sober, I made sure there was nothing tempting left in the kitchen for me.

My family isn’t going keto, so they still have all their goodies in the cupboard, which can be challenging if you eat the same snacks. I don’t eat snacks anyway, so it isn’t really a problem. The only carbs I have been consuming recently came from rice and bread.

Over Buy Keto Foods

Keto is a boring diet; there are no two ways about it. Once you’re used to it, it’s fine, but I like to give myself many options for the first couple of weeks. So yesterday I went to the imported shop and bought myself some yummy keto foods.

  • Salmon
  • Burgers
  • Bacon
  • Chicken Wings
  • Sour Cream
  • Butter
  • Avocados (I forgot to buy these, just realizing now)
  • Lots of Leafy Greens

It may not seem like many choices, but it’s more than enough to keep the diet interesting for me.

Why are you Doing Keto Again?

I always intended to get back on keto. However, with so much uncertainty here with lockdowns and food shortages (it’s July 2022, and we’re still being herded into mass testing stations weekly), it never seemed like a viable long-term option.

However, Sam’s Club has recently seen most of its imported meat products come back, and we haven’t had any real lockdown or run on the stores for a while, so I feel confident that I could continue to do keto for the time being.

The mental benefits are a huge reason I want to go back to keto; I love feeling razor-sharp and being able to sit and work for hours and hours. As I start to focus on this site, I have felt tiredness creep in and have been unhappy with my output for the past few weeks. I can’t wait for the ketones to kick in and get a huge productivity boost.

I would also like to lose a few pounds. One thing with eating carbs is that my body wants to store them all around my waist. I’m not overweight, and my weight has never been a problem; I work out 4-5 times a week to keep it in check, but I would like to see my abs again.

After three months of following the keto diet, I will make a comparison post with photos and my new weight. Right now, I’m 74kg (163 lbs ). I think I’ll be around 70kg (154 lbs) after three months.

What about Working Out?

I like strength training when I’m on keto, but I’ve recently lightened the weights as my joints have taken a beating in the past few years. So I’m going to continue in the body-building range for now.

For cardio, I like to switch it up; I’m lucky enough to have a nice gym at home with a rowing machine and running machine. I enjoy hitting the heavy bag too.

I will make a monthly update post to show my progress. If you want to join me, follow me on Twitter, I’ll post more about my keto journey there.